Annette Riley Web Design

Wednesday Web Tip                           March 5, 2014

Ways to Build A Quality Email List   


After recent Web Tips on Adding Email Marketing to Your Marketing Mix and How to do Email Marketing Well, I got a question from one of my subscribers.  (Thanks! I always appreciate questions or topic suggestions...) 


He wanted to know how to accumulate a good email address collection so he could use it to promote his business.   


A mailing list, whether it is email or snail mail, is important for two reasons.  These are people who are interested in what you have to offer -and- they have given their permission for you to contact to them about it.


Here are some ways to build a high quality list:

  1. Just ask. Ask your customers for their email addresses and permission. When you network, ask people you meet if you can sign them up for your newsletter. Giving a speech or teaching a seminar - sign 'em up. This is a pretty basic suggestion, but many people don't do it.  I am guilty myself.  
  2. Sign-up Sheets or Guest Books. Put them in a prominent place at your store or business, and at trade shows, festivals or other public events.
  3. Promote your email communications in all printed materials (including your business cards, brochures or direct mail postcards).   
  4. Put an email list sign-up box in a prominent place on your website and/or blog (preferably on every page.) Include a compelling message about the value of subscribing, plus a privacy statement. In addition, include a "join my mailing list" link in your actual newsletter to help capture those potential subscribers that get your email forwarded to them from a friend or associate.
  5. Include a "Join My Email List" link at the bottom of your email signature. Add one line that describes the benefits of your newsletter or email promotions.
  6. Invite your Social Media contacts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.,  to join your mailing list. Promote your newsletters via Social Media.
  7. Offer incentives that relate to your business for signing up. Examples can be valuable downloadable content like a free whitepaper or guide, or a coupon offering a discount on a purchase.


Other considerations:

  • Do NOT buy lists, that is SPAM. If you are a member of a local community  organization, do not automatically sign people up from the members list. It is an industry best practice to contact them for permission to sign them up to your list.    
  • Manage subscriber expectations from the beginning. Let people know when they're signing up what they will be getting and how often. Then, of course, do your best to provide valuable content to your subscribers.


As you see, there are many ways to build your e-list. Sometimes you need to get creative, sometime you just need to get going. Always remember to Ask Permission. Quality over quantity counts here.  




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